Debuting as “S/mileage” with the single “Yumemiru fifteen” in May of 2010, they won the Best Newcomer Award at the “52nd Kagayaku! Nihon Record Taishou” in December of the same year. In October of 2011, the sub members Kana Nakanishi, Akari Takeuchi, Rina Katsuta, and Meimi Tamura became official members. On July 15, 2014, they had their first solo concert at Nippon Budoukan. In December of 2014, they invited 3 new members Maho Aikawa, Rikako Sasaki, and Mizuki Murota and changed their group name from S/mileage  to “ANGERME”.

While it has become official that Kanon Fukuda will be graduating from the group at their Nippon Budoukan live on November 29, they have announced their new triple A-side single “Desugita Kui wa Utarenai/ Donden Gaeshi/ Watashi” (on sale: November 11).

This single will be their last with the present nine members, and Tokyo Girls’ Update went to the shooting of the MV “Desugitakui wa Utarenai” to interview ANGERME!

Desugita Kui wa Utarenai MV

Contributor Wanted!!


Kanon Fukuda

– Please introduce yourself.

Kanon: I’m Kanon Fukuda. I’m 20 years old. Nice to meet you.

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– This time you’re releasing a triple A-side single with three songs, so could you tell us each song’s listening points or places we should focus on?

Kanon: “Desugita Kui wa Utarenai” has a very rock sound with an energy that goes well with live houses. “Donden Gaeshi” is also pretty upbeat, kind of like an anime theme song. The chorus stays with you, and I think the dance is more of a performance where we use our whole bodies, is fun. “Watashi” is the first time I’ve ever written the lyrics to a song, and when I started I had no idea how to write any kind of prose. So because of that, I think from now it’ll become a song that will become very dear to me.

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– I was able to read the lyrics to “Watashi” on paper, and I think it was written extremely well. I was surprised to see you write them, and was wondering how long did they take for you to write?

Kanon: Actually they didn’t take me that long; as soon as they appeared in my mind I wrote them down. I had sat down for however many days thinking about what to write but couldn’t come up with anything, so I decided to just reset my thoughts and think of something else, and when I did that it suddenly all came to me in about 30 minutes.

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– What did you think when you first heard the song?

Kanon: They gave me the song first, but I wasn’t sure what kind of lyrics would fit it, and even the words I wanted to use didn’t go with the melody. It was difficult to choose the words. There were moments where I used temporary lyrics, and tried to impossibly to make them sound good. That was also my first time doing anything like that, and I enjoyed the work.

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– I’d like to ask you about your resolution for your Budoukan final and how you feel about your work up until this point.

Kanon: It might sound a little over-emotional, but whether I’m crying or laughing, it’ll be my last day so I want it to be full of good memories until the very end. And of course I don’t want to make any mistakes during the performance, but also I want to stay my normal self the whole way through, without crying at the end. I want to put on a concert that will make my fans feel happy that they were supporting me all this time.

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– Can I ask you what being in S/mileage and ANGERME has meant to you?

Kanon: I had dreams of joining a new Hello! Project group for a long time. So I’m really happy those dreams came true. I like being an idol, but I don’t have any thoughts at all of being an idol outside of Hello! Project, so I feel like I have to do everything I want to do without leaving anything out. I don’t feel any sadness about it, so I want to give it everything I’ve got and have fun until the very end.

– What has left the deepest impression on you?

Kanon: Winning the Best Newcomer Award at the Japan Record Awards made me feel really accomplished. I was able to appear on TV and receive a once in a lifetime award. It was a very valuable experience.

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– Is there anything you want to pursue after graduating?

Kanon: Working with the other members and the group, there were many things I was able to accomplish, but there were also things I wasn’t able to because I was in a group, so I want to try to challenge those things. I also want to study songwriting. Up until now I’ve gotten so much energy from Hello! Project’s music, so next time I want to write lyrics that will give other people energy. I want to support Hello! Project not as a member, but still be an important presence.
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– Finally, please give us a message for your overseas fans.

Kanon: I’ve never once been overseas, nor left Japan, so when I graduate I want to go overseas as a personal life experience. I want to get to know people abroad more, so I want to be able to respond when people talk to me in English. (laugh)


Ayaka Wada

– Please introduce yourself.

Ayaka: My name is Ayaka Wada, I’m 21 years old, and I’m a third year university student. I love art. I like Japan’s unique Buddha statues. When it comes to paintings, I like Western ones. For I like the Impressionists, and I really like Monet, so I want to go to the Musée d’Orsay.

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– Is there something about Japan’s Buddha statues that you’d recommend to people overseas?

Ayaka: Apparently overseas they’re considered cute. The Buddha statue I like is also cute; they call the Buddha at Koryo Temple in Kyoto, Maitreya or Crowned Maitreya. It’s really cute. There’s one in Nakamiya Temple too, and it’s also cute but, not quite the same. As far as cuteness goes, the one at Koryu Temple is cuter. Its smile gives the Mona Lisa a run for her money.

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– I’d like to ask you to comment on the second song off of your triple A-side single.

Ayaka: “Desugita Kui wa Utarenai” sounds very rock. It has a lot of strong lyrics. It’s not exactly provocative, but it’s saying “the stake that sticks out won’t get hammered”, so it’s okay to stick out. Up until now we’ve done many love songs, but since we changed our names from S/mileage to ANGERME, we’ve faced a lot of difficulties (laugh), so I think it’s something we should sing about.

Also, both on the lyrics and the song, everyone that helped make it is a woman. The senpai at our company are ones that we owe a lot to. I think it’s really amazing. Strength created by women is a good thing. Of course, directing that power at men is also good!

– What about “Donden Gaeshi”?

Ayaka: “Donden Gaeshi” is also rock, but a different kind. There are parts of it that sound kind of anime song-like. “Major reversal” is a big theme. There are contrasts in the chorus like “from black to white, from white to black” or “light in the darkness”, and gives the image of big changes over smaller ones. In the first verse there’s a girl who’s lost, saying she’s “in a darkness she can’t escape from”. The setting is something like wandering through a field in a storm. The struggle takes her to the chorus, where there’s a major reversal. I guess it would be a little strange to say it like, “baring your fangs from inside your heart”. (laugh)

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– Have you ever found yourself baring your fangs from inside your heart?

Ayaka: Yes, I have. This morning I wanted to paint my nails red or black. Our costumes are rock style, and I thought it would go well together, but the staff told me, “You can’t! Leave your nails plain!” Personally I thought my way would have looked cooler, but they said no so it was like “Whaaaat?!?!” I found myself baring my teeth a little. (laugh)

– Tell us about your resolution for the tour final.

Ayaka: It’ll be our last time as the nine of us. It’s only been about a year since we came together, and we started off balanced and in good shape, yet now that’s all coming to an end, and I feel like although it was fleeting, we’re ending things in good form. There are plans to have a new member join us, so I’d like to be able to show everyone our full, nine member form again. I want Kanon to be able to graduate feeling fulfilled.


– What about your memories with Kanon?

Ayaka: Founding members are generally the type to get things done when it’s time to do something. We ran away (laugh). It was back during our debut, when we had debuted as just the four of us, and we staged a small rebellion and decided to escape (laugh). During our break we totally escaped, but at first I was scheduled to go to the house wherever we were at. At least I was supposed to, and Kanon completely chickened out saying, “Let’s go back! Let’s go back!” She seemed the most into it but, when the time suddenly came she was a total chicken! In the end, she hid behind the trash area in the basement. (laugh) She didn’t escape at all. Even though she had the image of someone that would run away from the venue. Our manager was really angry like, “What do you think you’re doing?!” After we got back, we got a lecture that lasted until late at night. It was about five hours long. Each one of us was questioned.

– So does it make you feel uneasy now that one of your partners is leaving?

Ayaka: Something that makes me feel uneasy… Well, I always forget things that have happened in the past, but Kanon remembers everything. Like when this happened at this concert and things like that. I think it’ll be hard not being able to remember. So I’ll ask her to text me.

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– Talking about your song “Donden Gaeshi”, has there been any kind “Donden Gaeshi”-like surprise happening that you could tell us about?

Ayaka: When the six of us were able to perform our first concert at Nippon Budoukan last year, it was something proposed by Tsunku♂ after we had wrapped up a three-round, two-year live house tour. That we were able to play at Budoukan as a reward is the result of our strength. Even though we’ve borrowed the help of adults, I think that’s why the current ANGERME is the way it is. If we hadn’t done Budoukan that time, I don’t think there would be an ANGERME now. So we could perform at Budoukan twice in the same year, we completed our hall tour in earnest, however our name changed to ANGERME, and because of that the people around us began to see us differently. But I think that wasn’t the power of ANGERME, but the power from Budoukan the year before.

– Please give us a message for your overseas fans.

Ayaka: Even though we’ve never been overseas, there are a ton of people from overseas that come to see us. Especially during summer vacation. They always tell us they came from so and so place.

– Which countries do they most often come from?

Ayaka: There are many fans from Taiwan and France. It makes me feel really happy, but also a little sad. I’ll think about how it’s because we can’t go to wherever they are… I want us to become stronger and do our best so we can go overseas and play a concert someday. I want us to do our best every day so that our fans can enjoy our new songs and YouTube videos, so it would make me happy to see you look after us with your warm gaze and support.


Rina Katsuta

– What should people watch for in “Donden Gaeshi”?

If you just watch Akari Takeuchi, it’ll make you laugh. (laugh) So during our lessons they kept telling us, “Don’t laugh!” She would start laughing and then the rest of us couldn’t help but laugh, and then we’d get scolded by our teacher. But we did our best to focus elsewhere and keep from looking at her, and I think that might be a feature of the MV.

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– Tell us about your resolution for Budoukan.

Rina: I want to have fun and leave everyone with a strong impression of us as our final time together as nine, and move to the next stage with a nice breeze behind us!

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– Please give us a message for your overseas fans.

Rina: We’ve only done concerts in Japan so far, but during summer vacation a lot of overseas people come to our shows. Like from France or Korea. I’m sorry they have to keep coming here to see us, so I definitely want to have a handshake event with all of our fans in those countries, or at least a concert. I would definitely like to do it next year.

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– Where would you like the visit the most?

Rina: I think I’d like to go to France.


Maho Aikawa

– What should people watch for in “Desugita Kui wa Utarenai”?

Maho: It’s a fast, uptempo song like “Gashin Shotan” from last time, but this song is even faster and more rock. Because idols have such a cute image, I think it’s rather difficult to sing a song that’s fast like a tongue twister. The lyrics are deep and cool, so I think it’s a song that people who like music in general, and not just idol music, can listen to.

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– Talking about your song “Donden Gaeshi”, has there been any kind of “Donden Gaeshi”-like surprise happening that you could tell us about?

Maho: The weather has been terribly lately, hasn’t it? It gave me a shock thinking that we might not be able to see the supermoon or the mid-autumn harvest moon. But watching the weather forecast the other day, the weather was really good! I thought it was a waste to feel so down! It was “Donden Gaeshi”.

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– Please give us a message for your overseas fans.

Maho: Since we only hold live concerts in Japan we thought they could only see us on the internet, but we were happy when some of our overseas fans came. While they’re sightseeing around Japan, I definitely hope they come to one of our shows. We’d like to do a live overseas someday, but until then please wait for us.


– Is there a country you’d like to visit?

Maho: France would be good, but I’d really like to visit Russia. I used to do ballet and like Bolshoi. When I was little it was my dream to enter the Vaganova Academy. So I’d like to do a concert in Russia and go see a ballet at the Bolshoi Ballet. (laugh)


Akari Takeuchi

– What should people watch for in “Desugita Kui wa Utarenai”?

Akari: Everyone’s movements for the chorus of “Desugita Kui wa Utarenai” are different. It doesn’t matter who you watch; they’re all good. (laugh) I don’t know if we have any strength left after doing it second. It’s a song that that gives us a 120 damage hit.

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– How many points is your full strength?

Akari: Only about 100. We’ll be dead after this song. (laugh)

– What about “Donden Gaeshi”?

Akari: It’s theme is a fight. We’re split into two teams, and we’re going back and forth like, “What’s with you guys!” We talked about how it would be fun if our fans split into two sides as well. (laugh)

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– Tell us about your resolution for the tour final.

Akari: It’s been four years since the six of us held our hall tour without the new members. Our dream was to do a hall tour when it was just the six of us, and we were happy when it came true. When our hall tour was decided, we were a little uneasy about whether or not people would come, but it was the opposite and fans said they couldn’t get tickets. There were even people who said they always come and see us, but even they couldn’t get tickets. We had mixed feelings. We were happy, but we wished the fans that had come to see us all this time had been able to come. Though we were glad that new people came to see us. From now on I believe we have to keep going.

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– Please give us a message for your overseas fans.

Akari: We’ve never been overseas. Our kouhai Juice=Juice, did a concert abroad first. We don’t have any specific plans yet, but we got our passports so now we’re just waiting for an offer. (laugh) We want to do our best so we can go overseas as soon as possible. When we do a concert or event overseas, we hope you’ll all come!
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– What country would you like to visit?

Akari: It might be the most obvious, but I want to go to America. I want to see the streets and ride in a yellow taxi. If we have a concert scheduled overseas, I’m going to buy a single lens reflex camera!


Kana Nakanishi

– What should people watch for in “Desugita Kui wa Utarenai”?

Kana: In the beginning, Tsunku♂ called me a poor student. But that didn’t make me upset. Since we became ANGERME I’ve been able to get solo parts, and you can clearly hear me singing after the second interlude! Chances like that are rare, so this is the first song where I’ve gotten a good bite.

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– What about “Donden Gaeshi”?

Kana: Even though it has a hostile feel, our costumes are cutesy. I think that contrast is one point to pay attention to. Also, you don’t ever see us fighting, so that’s worth checking out!

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– Tell us about your resolution for the tour final.

Kana: Kanon and I have formed an unofficial unit, which is a comedy unit called Rabbit, and sometimes during MC we perform jokes. Kanon started hanging out with me after I joined, and now most of the clothes I wear are ones I got from her. She’s the senpai who has taught me the most when it comes to singing and dancing, so if possible I want to try and fill in the hole that’ll be there when she’s gone. I want to do my best to have the same presence as her and keep our fans from feeling sad.

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– Talking about your song “Donden Gaeshi”, has there been any kind of “Donden Gaeshi”-like surprise happening that you could tell us about?

Kana: A backpack I really liked looked like it was about to break, but I kept on using it. While I was on my way to where we were meeting up, something fell out, and I picked it up and kept on going. But when I looked inside my backpack there was nothing there. I hurried to retrace the way I’d come, and surprisingly I was able to get my Weider in Jelly (a kind of jelly drink), cellphone, wallet, riceball, water bottle, lyrics card, and everything I’d dropped on the street. It was a huge shock for me. Isn’t dropping something the scariest thing? So I’m going to be careful so it doesn’t ever happen again, and for those out there listening to this story, I’d be happy if you realize you should use a sturdy bag or glance back and check your backpack every now and then. If not, you might be in for a surprise.


Meimi Tamura

Meimi: My name is Meimi Tamura, and I’m in my second year of high school. It’s nice to meet you.

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– What should people watch for in “Desugita Kui wa Utarenai”?

Meimi: The lyrics are very deep, and aren’t just “do it” or “do your best”. I’d like people who don’t have the courage to be disliked by others to listen to it. In Japan there’s the tendency to follow the majority no matter what, you know? So I’d like people who have trouble with being disliked to listen to it, and try taking that first step. I think the lyrics give good support.

– Are you brave enough to face being disliked?

Meimi: I think I have as much courage as possible. All of us in the group get along really well, but I wouldn’t say it feels like we’re friends. I really like everyone, though. But I have to be aware to protect the line between work and friends.

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– Talking about your song “Desugita Kui wa Utarenai”, have you ever had something good or bad happen to you for sticking out?

Meimi: Lots of times. A dance teacher used to say to tell me this or that was wrong all the time. I used to think it was completely about me. When I first joined four years ago I thought everything was about me. But when I tried to put as much into my dancing as possible, I still got told it was the worst.

– So you thought it was all you, then?

Meimi: Now looking at the other members I understand, but our teacher was saying that towards the people who didn’t think it was them the most. So that they gradually come to think, “What, is it with me?” (laugh)

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– Tell us about your resolution for the tour final.

Meimi: If you count the time from when we were S/mileage, this is our third time, and as the last performance that’s part of our hall tour, I think there’s more unity between the members than ever before, and since it’ll be our last time for the nine of us to stand on stage together, I want people to see it as a compilation of the nine of us together.

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– Please give us a message for your overseas fans.

Meimi: The other day it was announced that our kouhai, Juice=Juice, would hold a concert overseas. We’ve wanted to go overseas since we were S/mileage, so it was a little sad. There are overseas fans that tell us they came to Japan because they like ANGERME. So in the future I want to be a group that spreads more and more overseas like our sempai.

– Where would you like to hold a concert?

Meimi: I’d like to go to New York like Morning Musume。 did.


Rikako Sasaki

Rikako: I’m Rikako Sasaki, 14 years old, and in my second year of junior high school. My favorite thing is bar soap. I especially like soap with milk in it.

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– What should people listen for in “Desugita Kui wa Utarenai”?

Rikako: To put it simply, it’s a rock song and very cool. Because of all the instruments it’s got a raw band sound.

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– Do you like rock?

Rikako: I do. It’s because of my dad’s influence. Western rock bands from the 80s.

– What kind of groups do you like?

Rikako: Iron Maiden and Whitesnake. Whitesnake is coming to Japan in November. In April, Iron Maiden is coming and I’d like to go see them.

– What’s something people should pay attention to about the tracks for this release?

Rikako: The costumes. The material and pattern is the same, but each person has long pants, shorts, or a skirt… They’re all different. I think even for those who don’t know our name and see ANGERME for the first time, it’ll be easy to remember us.

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– Talking about your song “Desugita Kui wa Utarenai”, have you ever had something good or bad happen to you for sticking out?

Rikako: The dance movements are pretty big, and we were proud about that. Before I joined this group, I was a Hello! Project understudy, and of course since joining ANGERME I consider togetherness to be something important. I didn’t want to be the one to stick out, so I had to work a little to keep it together. If I didn’t, it would make the group look bad.

– What felt the hardest about this time?

Rikako: Stopping when we’re supposed to stop and that it’s a dance with a lot of life to it.

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– Tell us about your resolution for the tour final.

Rikako: November 29th at Nippon Budoukan will be the last time the nine of us in ANGERME come together as one. We don’t have many days of our hall tour left until then, and I want to make the most of this time that I’m sure will go by quickly. It was announced on this New Year’
s that we’d perform at Budoukan on May 26th, before we knew it, that time came, so I’m nervous that November 29th will be here soon. October 4th marked one year since us third generation members joined. So I want to show everyone how we’ve grown in that time.

– Please give us a message for your overseas fans.


Rikako: ANGERME hasn’t done a concert overseas yet, and we definitely want to. First I have to try my best with English. (laugh)

– Which countries?

Rikako: Also before when I saw footage from ℃ -ute’s concert in Mexico I thought they were really lucky. The cheering from overseas and Japanese fans is completely different. I want to feel it for myself, but most of all, I want to eat lots of delicious foreign food. (laugh)


Mizuki Murota

Mizuki: I’m Mizuki Murota, and I’m 17 years old.

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– What should people listen or watch for in “Desugita Kui wa Utarenai”?

Mizuki: This is the first rock song I’ve done, and the way of singing it is a little different. “Donden Gaeshi” is also rock, and we had to challenge ourselves on the chorus’s harmony. It was something almost completely new, and the degree of difficulty was quite high, so I had to listen and practice it over and over again!

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– Talking about your song “Desugita Kui wa Utarenai”, have you ever had something good or bad happen to you for sticking out?

Mizuki: When I was an understudy there were times when I was dancing a lot. On a song called “Watashi, Choi to Kawaii Urabancho” I had to do a lot of hard headbanging, and used my whole body during rehearsal. They would tell me, “This is just a rehearsal so you don’t have to put so much into it,” but because I was an understudy at the time I really put everything I had into it. I couldn’t hold my head up because I tried too hard.

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– Tell us about your resolution for the Budoukan final.

Mizuki: When we performed at Budoukan before, I danced too hard and thought I was going to faint… I danced too hard and it was like I couldn’t get enough air. I think it can’t be helped to be serious, but I want to be careful not to overdo it. I want to have good control.

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– Please give us a message for your overseas fans.

Mizuki: I love Western anime and dramas. Like Wizards of Waverly Place or Hannah Montana. I like the Disney Channel and Western music. So I want to give a performance that people overseas can enjoy, too. Thank you very much!

 

See all the backstage photos

Related link
ANGERME Official site : http://www.helloproject.com/angerme/

Photo by Mime Soga
Translated by Jamie Koide

Author
itaru9Z
itaru9Z

I am the Chief Idol Officer of Tokyo Girls Update, known as "Hiroro Ojisan" who loves Maachan. I produce the MV, art works, promotions, and tie-in campaign of idol groups such as "Team Syachihoko" and "Negicco". Please contact me if you know any "hanare-me" (wide-set eyed) idols.

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